Manipur Tribal Protest turns violent as clashes continue

Manipur Tribal Protest turns violent as clashes continue in the State with the Opposition blaming the Government for its hate policies. The Manipur government imposed a curfew in most of the districts and suspended mobile internet services in the entire state for five days with immediate effect from Tuesday after a mass rally organized by the All Tribal Students’ Union Manipur (ATSUM) turned violent in an area bordering Bishnupur and Churachandpur districts.

Manipur Tribal Protest
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Manipur Tribal Protest – A March for Solidarity

The Manipur Tribal Protest rally “solidarity march” was organised in protest against the demand for inclusion of the state’s Meitei community in the Scheduled Tribe (ST) category, following an April 19 Manipur High Court directive. The development has reopened an old ethnic faultline in the state between the plain-dwelling Meitei community and the hill tribes.

On Wednesday afternoon, the Manipur Tribal Protest rally organized in Churachandpur district turned violent when the demonstrators clashed with a group of people in an area bordering the Bishnupur district. As per reports, following the clashes, unidentified miscreants set fire to houses belonging to a particular group. However, there is no official confirmation of the details of any casualties. The Indian Express reached out to the SP of Bishnupur district, but he did not respond.

Manipur Tribal Protest – Govt. and Opposition Trade Blows

Following violent clashes after the Manipur Tribal Protest in several parts of Manipur on Wednesday night as per ground report, Chief Minister N Biren Singh said the incidents were a result of a “prevailing misunderstanding between two communities” and appealed to the people of the state to cooperate with the government to maintain law and order. “We are committed to protecting the lives and property of all our people. Long-term grievances of different communities will also be suitably addressed in due course in consultation with the people and their representatives,” Singh said in a video statement issued on Thursday.

“We should not allow the culture of communal harmony in the state to be disturbed by vested interests,” Biren Singh said. “In this hour, I appeal to one and all to maintain peace and harmony in your respective areas. I ask you not to believe rumors and unverified messages.”

The Manipur Tribal Protest and the violence that ensued as a result was followed by a flag march that was carried out by the Indian Army and the Assam Rifles in the violence-hit areas.


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